Drawn by Love

Jesus 1I once had a neighbor, who on the way to the hardware mega store asked, “Why are you so different?”  I had helped them with several needs after they had moved into their new home.  He asked, I told him.  The truth appealed to him and his wife, and they accepted Jesus.

Do people in your world know you believe in God?  Can they tell you have accepted Jesus Christ and you live your life for him?  Do they think you are a Jesus freak, or a normal person who happens to love God, a lot?

Jesus hung out with people, who the Pharisees judged as “sinners”.  Jesus called them people who needed his love.  This means that even though Jesus spoke about his Father in heaven, and believing in him, the people still wanted to be around him.  They were drawn to him, because he showed love.  Jesus met them where they were.  He didn’t change his actions or message when in the presence of people of the world, but turned up the love!

Just as I didn’t join the world’s ways. I’m not asking that you take them out of the world But that you guard them from the Evil One. They are no more defined by the world Than I am defined by the world. (Joh 17:15-16 MSG)

We would be wise to follow Jesus’ example.  People will be drawn to us because of our love, and then they will be interested in hearing our message of Jesus.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Are You?

20181123_232007I was playing cards the other night with some friends.  One lady kept getting great hands.  I said, “You are blessed, and highly favored!”  We all laughed, but then the very next round she got another great hand.  I said it again.  After realizing that she was doing great, I quit saying it about her and begin professing it for myself.  I started getting good hands.

Yes, I know, it was a card game, but I sensed truth was again revealed to me.  We have power in the words we say.  Blessings and curses can come from the same source, our mouths.  Being blessed and highly favored is more than mere words.  It’s a way of life.  It’s being with the Lord and the Lord being with you.  It’s desiring him more and his will for your life above all other things.  That’s how Mary, the mother of Jesus lived.

“And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.” (Luk 1:28 KJV+)

Are you blessed, and highly favored?  I hope so.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Can A Turkey Have a Happy Thanksgiving?

sadA friend once invited me to Thanksgiving.  When I accepted her invitation she replied, “Great!  At least now we’ll have a turkey!”

Feeling like a turkey?  Getting basted by your boss?  Carved by one you thought cared about you?  Devoured by life?

Emotions are a choice.  No one, or any circumstance can “make” you feel anything.  You choose to feel a certain way.  The only way, in life, I have learned to be happy, despite my circumstances, is to focus on the One, whose under His wings I find refuge.

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” (Ps. 91:4  NIV)  Now that’s a reason to choose happiness!

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Three Days

Charlie 1A young woman had been praying for a man of God for years.  She had cried out, “God do you not care?”  Not seeing any positive movement via the dating site she had joined, she decided to close her account.  Three days later she received a message from an interested man.  Love blossomed.

A man was asked by God to go to a certain village to evangelize.  The man didn’t do it.  Instead, he went the other way, and boarded a ship.  After setting sail, the ship encountered some very bad weather.  Before going down, the superstitious men on board decided their trouble was due to one man.  They threw him overboard where a great fish swallowed him up.  Three days later, the fish vomited the man out.  He then decided to be obedient and go where God had commanded in the first place.

After Jesus drew his last breathe on the cross, his followers thought it was over.  They recalled his acts of love, and his stories that inspired, but he was gone.  For three days, all hope was lost, until Jesus was resurrected.  He overcame the darkness and once again, Light filled the earth!

What is it, about three days of darkness?  Is it a test to see if your faith will hang on?  Does it take at least that long for your will to line up with God’s?  How many days has it been for you?  What have you been calling out to God for?  Is your hope lost?  Are you thinking, “What’s the use” or perhaps you are thinking, “Well, it was nice while it lasted.”

As long as you are alive, hope exist!  Why does God allow certain things to happen in ways we might call cruel and unusual, I don’t know.  But I do know this, God is still and will forever be on the throne controlling things especially for those who submit their lives to him.

Remember this:  I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out–plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. (Jer 29:11 MSG)

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Walking with God

080212 327“God, I want to walk with you.”
“Then let me set the pace.”
“But I can’t wait to reach my promise land.”
“”Then you will miss the lessons along the way.”
“Do I really need them?”
“You will when you reach my destination for your life.”
“But I thought you gave me the desires of MY heart?”
“I do, after they line up with MY will.”

“God, we have been walking for a long time.  Aren’t there any shortcuts?”
“There is a lot in you that I have needed to adjust.”
“It’s not my fault!”
“It’s not mine either.”
“Are we there yet?”
“Just a little bit longer.”
“Ya know God, I think I like walking with you.”
“This is what I intended for man all along.”

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Risky Business

DSC_7833One of the hardest decisions to make, after having your heart ran through a shredder, is to try again.  You have said, “No way!” “I could never trust again.” “I can’t take the chance, or I never want to feel that kind of pain again!”

Me?  What did I used to say?  “God, it’s too hard.”

I once quoted, to a lady,  a line from a song, “All my ex’s live in Texas.”  After she got done laughing, she asked, “My God, how many do you have?”  “One,” I replied, “But that’s all of them!”  Through the many years since my divorce I have learned what real love is, by becoming intimate with my Heavenly Father, and also when man fell out with God, he fell out with women as well.  I have the vertical connection, with God, in place, and now I am open and willing, to take a risk, to try again, with the horizontal connection with a woman.

Notice the cross?  Yes, that one.  The one Jesus died on because he took the ultimate risk of love coming here to die for our sins.  I’m sure his heart aches when people reject him.  If a relationship is based on loving Jesus, then together you will have the vertical and the horizontal connections in place that will support a healthy, loving relationship.

Love is a “risky business”, but when done the way God intended, I’m trusting it will be one more thing God will look at and say, “It is good.”

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Me 2.0

renewWhat does it take to change?  To stop being whom everyone knows, and become who God knows?  The only way I know to change, is the way God spoke of in Romans 12:2:

“Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].”  (AMP)

Renewing your mind, changes how you think. It begins to change how you see, talk to, treat, and hear people.  It changes where you go, and what you do.  When your mind has been transformed, people will know it, see it, hear it, and feel it.  You will begin living as God originally intended.  Others will be drawn to you.  They may not know why, but they will be attracted to God through you.  Their spirit will recognize the Spirit of God in you.

Here is the same verse from The Message

“Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”  (MSG)

I couldn’t have said it better.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Tired of Sand in Your Underwear?

sand“But it’s what I know!  Yes, you’re right.  I don’t like living like this, but…I just don’t know how to change it,” said  the man, asking for a handout.

Because of where my church is located, I see several people who don’t live like I do.  I feel bad for them, as you see them year after year in the same dessert, making another trip around Mt. Sinai.  They remind me of the Children of Israel.  They wanted so bad out of Egypt, but after they were out, they wouldn’t let go of Egypt.  Most found their new life required them to trust God daily for their needs.  Believe it or not they wanted to go back and live and die in Egypt.

The Israelites said, “Why didn’t GOD let us die in comfort in Egypt where we had lamb stew and all the bread we could eat? You’ve brought us out into this wilderness to starve us to death, the whole company of Israel!”  (Exo 16:3 MSG)

The children of Isreal would have rather lived in slavery then in freedom in the land flowing with milk and honey that God promised was theirs.  The effort to take the land proved to be too daunting, so they lived in sand.  I see some people choosing to live the same way today!

I find sand to be irritating.  It’s gets into everything and everywhere!  When I got tired of sand in my underwear, I decided it was time to trust God and go to a new place, a new level in him to walk and live.  I have been learning how to defeat the giants in the land, and when you put your trust 100% in him you find it doesn’t require that much of you.  God simply wants to be trusted.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved